Saturday, February 28, 2009

Buying the farm

This story is filled with little miracles.

We got home from Switzerland in early June 1976. By then I was just sizzling with having our own self-sufficient farm. From watching a garden planted in Switzerland to having our own homestead was an evolution I experienced in huge leaps.

I was ready!

But would there be land available? I would be satisfied with enough garden space to grow our own food - so I thought in the beginning. And maybe just a few little animals (like a cow? I didn't now about goats yet.)

I hit the ground running. I started looking for land in the paper, and called a real estate agent. We looked at houses with enough lawn to have a garden, but each time it seemed like too much house and too little land, or it was too suburban to be a complete self-sufficient operation.

But by late June I had found an amazing property that was just a little out of our price range, if we stretched and stretched. We knew we couldn't afford the whole thing, which was 14 acres.

Fourteen acres! What bliss! Or even part of it! This was in the town of South Natick, just beyond Wellesley, where we were then living.

But we couldn't afford all of it, so we made an offer on 5 acres. It was refused. We did our numbers again and offered a bit more. But the seller, a man who had been born on the property in the old house and then built a new fancy house nearby, wouldn't budge. He had to have his $95,000 or he wouldn't sell.

(Remember that these were 1976 dollars!)

So we were stuck. Then I thought, what if we add some more land to the deal, and some more money, so we offered to buy 9 acres for $95,000 and he said yes.

We had it! 9 acres! Our wonderful homestead! We could move in by the end of August.

It had a house, a huge lawn, a garage with a greenhouse on the second story, and woods. And what we really cared about: plenty of room for gardens and of course room for a barn...

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